In an update to the State of SimCity Blog, Maxis Emeryville studio General Manager Patrick Buechner said that the company is considering an offline mode for the game that launched as an online-only, always-connected game earlier this year. I'm sure you remember how that turned out...
In an Engadget interview that took place last week during Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore said that the company no longer ships games that are "offline."
Speaking at length with Engadget following his company's Gamescom 2013 press event, Moore said that EA's current dedication to online functionality in its games is unmatched:
"We don't ship a game at EA that is offline."
Codemasters revealed today that it will drop its plans for an "online pass" in its upcoming Formula One racing title, F1 2013. Earlier this year EA announced a similar discontinuation of its online pass system, prior to the reveal of the Xbox One and PS4. Codemasters did not say if it would drop the online pass system for its other racing franchises Grid and Dirt. Typically online pass systems require consumers to enter a code that comes bundled with the game before they play it online.
In an interview with GamesBeat, EA's Frank Gibeau revealed a couple of interesting facts about the company. The first fact he revealed is that Apple was the company's biggest partner in the last quarter, raking in an estimated $90 million in app sales. The game that made the most money for EA on iOS devices was The Simpsons: Tapped Out. EA's sales through Apple's Store represented about 18 percent of its business.
Forza 5, one of several first-party launch titles for the Xbox One, will require consumers to connect online at least once before it can be played. If users buy the game and refuse to connect to Xbox Live for -what we assume is - a title update - then the game will not be playable at all. A developer working on the game confirmed the news with IGN.
When EA launched its online-only, always-connected SimCity game earlier this year, they insisted that the game just wouldn't work without the ability to let the cloud have access to all the game's data and computations. But if that's the case, then why is EA asking people about the possibility of an offline SimCity game?
UPDATE: Looks like EA has changed its mind. A new message on the Darkspore forums reads:
"Welcome to the Darkspore forums. Thanks for supporting the game. We recently resolved an issue that was causing some players to not be able to connect to the game. If you any encounter any other issues, please contact help.ea.com for customer support. We will continue to support Darkspore, so feel free to continue to discuss the game here. Thanks – Maxis."
Got Xbox One questions?
Of course you do. Microsoft's messaging since its console unveiling has been a confusing mess. Does Xbox One require an internet connection to play offline? Does it block used games? Can the all-seeing eye of the Kinect be turned off?
While there has been much debate just how effectively Microsoft can put certain functions of Xbox One games on the cloud, Xbox One will support cloud technology and according to OXM, Xbox incubation and prototyping group manager Jeff Henshaw says that the cloud will provide developers with the CPU and storage equivalent of three extra consoles.
A brand new update to EA's always-online city management game SimCity finally turns on some features that were turned off during the game's launch due to wide scale instability and connectivity issues. With those problems behind them, developer Maxis has been focusing on new content, and tweaking the game to make it run as smoothly as it can.
It's been a year since Blizzard launched Diablo III to the masses, and even though it struggled in the beginning because the game requires a constant connection in order to play (and servers were constantly going down during the launch window), players eventually were able to play and enjoy the game.
Microsoft's Phil Harrison seems to be on a different page than the rest of Microsoft - or at least his messaging was out of sync yesterday after Microsoft announced its new Xbox One console. First there was the whole dust-up over used games on Xbox One, and now there is some confusion on how long your Xbox One can be disconnected from the Internet...
While Microsoft has earned some good will from the game community this week after a memo revealing that the next Xbox will not require an online connection all the time in order to work, Sony is elbowing its way into the debate by saying that they never considered such an option because most of the world doesn't have perfect internet.
Is EA and its Maxis studio learning a lesson from SimCity? We think so. Today Electronic Arts announced The Sims 4 will be coming to the PC and Mac sometime in 2014. The company also confirmed to IGN that the game will not require an internet connection in order to play, or more precisely, that it will have a single-player offline play.
An internal Microsoft memo offers some good news for those worried about the next Xbox system (which they call Durango in the memo) requiring a constant connection in order to use. According to that internal Microsoft e-mail (as reported by Ars Technica) the next Xbox has been designed in a way that recognizes the delicate nature of today's Internet connections.
According to this GameSpot report Respawn Entertainment's next game will be an Xbox 720 exclusive and will be "always online." According to the report, the game will be a multiplayer-focused, always-online Xbox 720 exclusive, with a release for Xbox 360 to happen at some point but to be developed by some other studio. If the report is to be believed the new game from the former Infinity Ward developers will not be available on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles.
A new massive update for SimCity released on Monday has apparently added a number of new bugs, much to the chagrin of players who have taken to EA's forums and Reddit to complain about them. The new bugs apparently plaguing the game after the v2.0 update include city sewage overloads, new traffic errors, a number of building construction issues, loading errors, and a few audio problems.
The update was meant to address some issues with traffic congestion, pathfinding problems and a list of other minor problems.
In Episode 48 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew and E. Zachary Knight discuss two polls this week - one about always online consoles and another about having moral objections to gameplay that is so offensive to you that it makes you stop playing. There's also a lot of discussion about the Wii U, the latest Monster Hunter game and a classic game EZK is playing because he found it for cheap used. Download Episode 48 now: SuperPAC Episode 48 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 66.2 MB.
Last week we asked readers "What will happen if Microsoft's next console requires internet connection start disc-based games?. The majority of the 821 votes cast went to it would be an "unmitigated sales disaster" for the company and its next-gen console, with second place going to "Microsoft would land in third place" in the next console cycle.
Don't like always-on games or consoles - you know, stuff that requires you to be connected constantly to the Internet in order to use it? Well former Epic Games creative director Cliff Bleszinski thinks that there's no avoiding a future filled with always online requirements and he thinks it is "coming soon and it's coming fast." Bleszinski made his comment in a recent personal blog post - a space where he often tackles subjects that drive gamers crazy. Clearly this is one of them.
It's that silly season (the time between major events like the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo) where rumors fly fast and furious about what the biggest companies in the industry have planned. So with that in mind, there's a new rumor that says that the "always online" requirement we have been hearing about for the new Xbox console is actually for the Xbox Mini device. Rumors about the device first surfaced in March of last year.
The Microsoft employee whose glib response (in a series of tweets to a developer friend) to the rumor that the company's next-generation console might require users to be connected to the Internet all the time has lost his job, according to Game Informer.
Despite almost everyone agreeing that an always-on console is a phenomenally bad idea, rumors continue to persist that Microsoft's next console will require an internet connection to start disc-based games.
Okay, fine. Let's say the big M goes in that direction. How do you think such a move will affect the sales of its new console?
It's been a while since the disastrous launch of EA's "always-online" game SimCity and things have calmed down enough that Maxis has turned "Cheetah" speed back on. Maxis had disabled the "fastest game mode" in SimCity on March 7 because the game's servers were having trouble staying online. Now that everything has calmed down a bit it has decided that it's safe to let players build their cities in hyper mode again.
According to this Bloomberg report citing an anonymous source close to the "situation," the next Xbox (which is codenamed "Durango" or is currently being called the Xbox 720) will not be backwards compatible with current generation Xbox 360 discs. Other rumors have indicated that the system will be pretty expensive - reaching the price point of close to $500 for the premium model of the system, though a cheaper model will also be available.
As much as EA and Maxis want to smooth things over with fans and make them happy, this latest blog post from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw isn't being received very well, if you believe the comments following the article.